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Picks of the Week for 12 Jan 2019

By Cinema and Reviews

It has been a long time between drinks here at Funerals & Snakes but that doesn’t mean that I have been idle. I continue to write and broadcast for RNZ (filling in for At the Movies on RNZ National and writing for the Widescreen channel on the website) and since the beginning of 2019 have tried to post at least a couple of reviews a week.

My deal with RNZ means I can’t repost that work here but there is no reason why I can’t start running summaries and highlights for my many ‘fans’. I’ll probably try and restart the newsletter, too, although what form that might take is still to be decided.

Rancho Notorious will be back in some form in 2020, too.

Anyway, here are this week’s picks:

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Daniel Craig has a gap in his schedule

By Asides and Cinema

While filling in for Graeme Tuckett on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon film slot last Thursday, I casually mentioned that Daniel Craig had been cast as journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher’s forthcoming remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. With the collapse of Sam Mendes’ new Bond picture, Mr Craig has a franchise-sized gap in his schedule and I think he’s ideal casting to play the craggy crusader (originated by Michael Nyqvist in the Swedish films and a six part television series).

Thanks to @hybridmovies, I can direct you to the Financial Times article that tells the whole sorry story of the deterioration of MGM and the mismanagement that has pushed it to the brink:

Harry Sloan, a media entrepreneur who once made $200m when a Scandinavian broadcasting business he was managing was taken public, was brought in as chairman of the studio. Sloan set about the substance of his work with enthusiasm, but he was also noted for his quirky habits. He arranged his office in the MGM building according to feng-shui principles and kept a selection of crystals in the screening room to improve energy flows – he even had his office telephone number changed, replacing all the fours with eights, a lucky number in China.

You can listen to me chatting with Kathryn Ryan about Inception and The Girl Who Played with Fire here or download from the link below:

[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20100729–1150-Film_Review_with_Dan_Slevin-048.mp3]

Dan Slevin reviews Inception and The Girl Who Played with Fire. (duration: 9m 37s) — Radio New Zealand

Review: Gran Torino, Beauty in Trouble, Revolutionary Road, Bride Wars, Hotel for Dogs, Bustin’ Down the Door, Female Agents and Man on Wire

By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Reviews

Gran Torino posterClint Eastwood has been on our screens for over 50 years and at 78 years old he has decided to call it a day and his valedictory performance in Gran Torino is completely worthy of the man. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a working class widower living on a suburban Detroit street, one of the few original residents still around as the neighbourhood fills up with Hmong immigrants. In a gang initiation his teenage neighbour Thao tries to steal Walt’s beloved 1972 Gran Torino (a car he helped build on the Ford assembly line) and, as penance, the kid is forced to work for Walt over the summer. They get to know each other — and the threat from the Hmong gang-bangers who now have an axe to grind with Walt as well as Thao and his family.

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